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Water conservation

How you can help

Water is a precious resource that can be in short supply during our hot dry summers.  Water conservation is something that should be practised throughout the year to make sure that water is used wisely.

There are some simple things that people can do both inside and outside the home that can help conserve water.  Here are a few:

Inside the house

​Take shorter showers​Use a dual-flush toilet
​Check for leaks​Install flow restrictors
​Turn off the tap

Outside in the Garden

​Use a good mulch​Soak, don't spray
​Remove weeds​Don't water the paths
​Use a sprinkler with a timer​Water the roots, not the leaves

Download a guide with more water conservation tips

SMART Watering

Ashburton District Council, alongside other Canterbury Councils and industry partners, Water Supply Products, RX Plastics and IrrigationNZ are promoting the SMART Watering campaign to help you conserve water during summer.

The SMART Watering campaign, developed by IrrigationNZ, teaches home gardeners and community irrigation projects how to make the best use of their water during hot, dry summers.

You can find out more about the campaign on the SMART Watering Facebook page and the SMART Irrigation website.

SMART watering tips

Below are a series of information sheets with tips on SMART watering in your garden.

Plant Right! - Saving water doesn't have to involve the cost and inconvenience of tearing up your garden to install a new irrigation system. It's easy to lower water consumption with simple changes to your landscaping and gardening routine.

Look after your Soil - Understanding your soil is crucial to plant growth. Soil is the foundation of a healthy garden, and the healthier it is, the more drought resistant your plants will be.

Invest in an irrigation system - Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and flower beds beautiful and healthy, while minimising water use. Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can expand along with your ambitions for your garden.

Water wisely - Today's irrigation systems include sophisticated controllers that allow you to easily adjust watering schedules to fit different needs.

Maintain and upgrade your system - Irrigation systems need regular maintenance to keep them working efficiently year after year. Damage from lawn equipment or winter frosts can cause leaks and other serious problems.

Types of irrigation systems - There are many different ways to water your lawn, borders, flowers and vegetables. All have their pros and cons. Most commonly used are hoses and sprinklers, but lesser known systems are available that provide more targeted and efficient water application.

Drip irrigation in the home garden - Drip irrigation is most commonly associated with horticulture or viticulture operations. But this has a huge application for home gardeners as well. Drip is the most water efficient of all irrigation systems. it delivers a slow trickle of water that seeps deep into the soil, reaching the plant's root system.

Case study

SMART waterers can already be found in the community who are using water responsibility and sustainability in their gardens and businesses.

Mary Ralston

"Managing an organic property means constant hands-on activity so finding ways to reduce the workload is important. Irrigation systems are used to distribute water in the orchard and green house and rainwater is collected in a tank to supplement the stock water supply."

Read more of Mary's story

Read more case studies on SMART watering